For several months I have been battling what has just been confirmed as Mareks. I have lost 6 chickens so far and my rooster is currently sick with it. However I had read a thread on here previously about a Mareks cure that I was desperate to try. It said that it could take anywhere from a few days to several months to work. There was also a small debate over whether I could use capsules bought from Wal-mart or if I had to by a special preparation of the medication. I am still in the trial period. My rooster is not back to normal yet but he is doing much better. His legs are unable to really hold him up and his right side is almost completely paralyzed, his eye is shut tight, his wing hangs, and his leg is almost paralyzed.
I have been giving him 12 ml of raw egg 3x a day, as well as 12 ml of water 3x a day. I also feed him a few crickets a day with a small amount of pellets and scratch. This combination seems to work very well. Any more water and he has diarrhea, I gave him a 4th of Imodium for this and it seemed to do good. I was giving 12 ml of water every hour with a handful of pellets. It was very hot and he was panting and his crown would get pale. He was dehydrating. That's why I gave so much water. The past few days have been much cooler and I keep a fan right next to his cage all day long from morning until dark.
I'm going to keep everyone updated so that if this really does work then whoever reads this thread will have the cure for Mareks.
Here is the mixture...
Hypericum treats pain and is the only treatment for Marek's Disease. Hypericum numbs nerves to either relieve pain or return function to paralyzed limbs. It costs about $8 for 100 doses. Hypericum requires a special dilution before it can be used succesfully on poultry. The mixture is as follows:
1 tablespoon distilled water (It must be distilled! The ions in tap water deactivate the hypericum, rendering it useless)
1 hypericum tablet (Do NOT touch it with you bare hands. This, too, deactivates the hypericum).
Please the hypericum tablet and water in a tiny glass bowl. (I use my mom's custard ramicans). Again, don't use a metal container.....it will electrically charge the hypericum so it will not work. Once the hypericum has fully dissolved, give 5-10 drops per bantam or 10-15 per large fowl. Let the liquid touch the tongue; be sure that the bird rubs its beak together so that the tongue touches the roof of the mouth. The liquid must touch the sinuses (located at the roof of the mouth) in order to work.
Repeat twice daily, morning and night, with a fresh batch. When the symptoms appear to be lessening, stop treatment. If the symptoms appear to worsen, begin immediately treating the bird at the same rate and frequency.
I couldn't find any "tablets" of Hypericum ( commonly called St. Johns Wart, I got the .3%) so I got the capsules instead. I simply pour my water in a cup and then gently twist open the capsule and sprinkle it into the water. Wait a few minutes and then administer. I got mine from Wal-Mart, much cheaper than GNC. To make administering quick and easy, I got a syringe and put my thumb over the opening, then took an eye dropper and dropped the required amount of drops into the syringe, and marked the syringe with a Sharpie so all I have to do now to get the correct dosage is simply fill the syringe to the line and squirt, and I'm done.
Here is a list of the symptoms he had prior to confirmation of Mareks. I've tried to list the symptoms in order as they occurred and of course as he got worse so did the symptoms....
wings hanging just slightly
dark green poop, looked light undigested grass
abnormal sleeping times
not moving, staying in one spot, and sleeping with feathers fluffed up slightly and head tucked close to body
when eating or drinking, he would miss the food or water bowl
not eating or drinking on own
not moving, sleeping most of the day
eye closed and swollen
having trouble standing on own
one leg straight out in front the other straight out in back
7/22/11 - Day 15 of treatment - He appears to be doing better. His eye is no longer swollen and seems to be opening a little. He is now at least pecking at his food, just a little, he is able to get a few grains in his mouth and eat on his own. This morning her was standing upright and slightly alert. I gave him a warm soak in epsom salt which he appeared to enjoy. He seemed a little more nimble after his soak. He is not panting nor dehydrated. His crown is a little pale but regaining color.
7/23/11-Day 16 of treatment- Today he seems to be having a bit of a relapse. He can no longer stand by himself and thrashes around when he is uncomfortable, I try my best to help position him in a way he is comfortable. I also noticed that his crown seems to be shrinking, usually it is nice and thick and very red, now it seems to be thinner and paler. Though it has been pale for a while it was still thick. I also noticed that lately when I feed him he gets a lot of air in his crop, I felt it one time and noticed it was way too full for the little bit that I had just given him. He had been fighting me as well, so I decided to feel the contents and in squeezing slightly he actually burped. (Didn't know chickens could burp!) Now every time I feed him I have to massage his crop every so often and "burp" him like a baby pretty much. He's a good rooster and lets me know when he's having trouble by squirming. Sorry I can't offer any exciting good news. Hopefully soon though. *Forgot to mention in the above information that I have been giving him a half of 500mg vitamin C tablet everyday. Since Mareks reeks havoc on the immune system I thought it might help, and it does seem to make him a little perkier.*
7/24/11- Day 17 of treatment- This morning when I went to feed him he seemed very perky and alert. I was very pleased with his countenance and his comb seemed a little more red. He also ate a good bit of pellets on his own. And I believe he was feeling much better since he fought me more than he ever has since he has been sick. He was also very vocal this morning which indicated possibly recovery. However, he is still unable to stand on his own and it seems as though he has very little control over his right side, he can move his head and neck however he wants but his wing and leg are apparently useless for him. I gave him another soak in warm water and epsom salt. He fell asleep in his bath. I did this for two reasons, 1) because he had poop stuck on his feathers from constantly laying on his side and thrashing around to get comfortable. 2) because it seems to relax some of his muscles, as well as help heal some of his little boils on his rear end. Which appear to be healing quite nicely. However, he has some red bumps on his legs that I am a little concerned about. I've already dusted him for mites, so I don't think it's that. Also, his crop keeps staying full or at least halfway full. There wasn't as much air in it this morning but I found it odd that there was anything left at all from overnight. Usually it's completely empty. Is there cause for alarm? I gave him half a small syringe of olive oil. Any suggestions? I mean I don't think it's horrible that he has food in his system being that he's sick but could there be something else causing this since it is rather unusual?
Here is a picture so you can see. Any ideas would be helpful.
And here is a pic of him sleeping in his bath.
Oh, and one more thing. For this entire process and time of him being sick he has been getting new feathers almost every day. I think you can see a little of it in the pic above. But I found that odd that his body would be spending energy on that since he was sick however, I'm not complaining since the wire cage I have is none too kind to his feathers. But at this point that is the least of my concern.
7/25/11- Day 18 of treatment- Today he seems to be doing a little better, much more active but crop is still full, reason unknown, he isn't pooping as much, but I gave him olive oil, I may try some castor oil. Does anyone know if it is safe for chickens? Another hen is now sick so I am doing the same for her, except she is still eating and drinking a little on her own. I'm keeping a close eye on her, since she is already skin and bones, and almost white on her comb and beak. I guess that's pretty much it for the day, nothing interesting or worth reporting for now.
7/26/11- Day 19 of treatment- Roberto seems to be doing better today. His comb is thicker and I made him a sling http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=546979 I will take it off tonight when I go to bed just in case there is a possibility of it cutting off his circulation. He was very fisty this morning it took me quite some time to feed him however he seemed to have an appetite. He pecked at his food aggressively. Still not quite able to get anything in his mouth except occasionally but not enough to merit leaving him on his own. His crop is still staying rather full but I'm wondering if that isn't because he is always laying on his side and isn't moving around much. I'll see if the sling helps any.
7/27/11- Day 20 of treatment- Roberto shocked me this morning by both eating and drinking on his own, of course not enough for my liking so I added a little. However I gave him another bath this morning, or warm soak in epsom salt rather, and as I was drying him I noticed what appeared to be a bed sore. As well as his leg looking sightly greenish bluish. Infection came immediately to mind, although gangrene was first. Upon further looking up gangrene it does not appear to be it. It is an infection though. I gave him and injection of saline solution (hoping salt would kill bacteria) no good. So I slathered all of the wounds with Triple Antibiotic Ointment. No "caine" drugs in it. I knew the wounds were there and was treating them but apparently was not enough. On further note about the Mareks cure, I believe it is working despite his other ailments he appears to be getting better, and quicker than I expected. His eye is not swollen and his is now using it occasionally. That's all for now, I will post tomorrow.
7/28/11- Day 21 of treatment- Unfortunately my Roberto did not make it today. I'm not really sure what happened, but he died. So my research is still inconclusive as to whether Hypericum cures Mareks or not. However, I have been using it to help a hen that got bit by a chicken snake. She had nerve damage to her leg and walked with a limp for years. I have given it to her in three day bouts. This is only her second bout and she is walking almost normally, you can barely tell she has a limp unless she runs. [b]So Hypericum does cure nervous damage.[b]
Edited by Kitty Cat - 7/28/11 at 3:43pm
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